After being confined to a mental asylum for 17 years, Grace B Jones gets released following years of abuse and torment at the hands of mental health nurses. She goes to live with her brother Landy Bretthorse, his wife Bea and two young girls in Boonville, Missouri despite Bea's concerns about her instability particularly around the children. Although Grace seems a nice, friendly person and treats the girls kindly, she has regularly bouts of hysteria which first come about after a boat accident during the calamitous 1951 flood. Is there enough of Grace left to save? Or will the household conclude that sometimes a broken woman is beyond repair?
'Saving Grace B Jones' is based on a true story surrounding first time feature film director Connie Stevens' childhood in the fifties when she was sent away from her home in Brooklyn to Missouri to live with family friends after witnessing a brutal murder. She was to find, that summer, that that terrible crime was not the thing that would have the biggest effect on her the rest of her life. This shocking drama has been co-written by Jeffry Elison in his screenwriting debut and first premiered in 2009 at the Philadelphia Film Festival/Cinefest. It is now available to see in theaters everywhere now.
Director: Connie Stevens
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Since T.J.'s mother died in a lethal car crash he and his father, Paul, have struggled to get on with life and are forced to live with T.J's grandma. When T.J meets a long-haired rocker by the name of Hesher, at first neither person is particularly taken by the other, there's a huge age gap for one thing but after an initial bad meeting Hesher begins to take on the role of a mentor for the young boy.
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Standard black-comedy stuff, then, though not without promise. Clancy doesn't have a strong directorial touch, operating only a level or two above the point-and-shoot techniques of an actual sitcom -- and a little lower when it comes to the laugh-track ready entrances and exits. But he does capture the feel -- the shabby decor, the lines of cereal boxes, the personal trepidation -- of a reluctant and unkempt family gathering. The Collins family is trapped in the family home until the funeral is over, foraging for emotional connections purely out of necessity. Whether this authenticity is achieved through close observation or a low budget is not immediately apparent; regardless, Eulogy's distaff family unit is more or less convincing -- as a whole, at least.
Continue reading: Eulogy Review
Based on the stage play, Children of a Lesser God is a metaphor movie about a hearing man's romance with a deaf woman. On the surface, it functions as a sympathy grabber for the hearing disabled, and a movie we can smile at because of William Hurt's gallant attempt to help deaf children speak, live normal lives, and, even, sing (albeit to cheesy songs but in one of the most fun and touching scenes captured on film). That is the skin deep surface, which would have been enough to make it a crowd pleaser and would have kept it from being torn to pieces by the critics.
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The Hustler has always stood out as not just a great movie about the con game, but as a great movie, period. Paul Newman's study of a pool hustler who goes through the highest highs and the lowest lows is so dazzling that an hour will go by before you look at the clock and realize... I'm watching a movie about pool.
Continue reading: The Hustler Review
Carrie is the tale of a high school senior named Carrie White, aptly played by Sissy Spacek, who spends her days at school as the center of nearly every cruel ridicule and her hours at home with a constricting, sadistic, fanatically religious mother (Piper Laurie). Let's just say the mother is like a female version of Sergeant Hartman in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, and Carrie is the distressed Private Pyle.
Continue reading: Carrie (1976) Review
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Michael Clancy's Eulogy is sort of a sitcom version of The Royal Tenenbaums, with its...